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What is an EIN Number & How To Look It Up

As a future business owner, one of your first steps legally should be requiring an Employer Identification Number (EIN); sometimes, it is referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN).

What Is AN EIN?

EIN is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your small business and will be linked to you, no one else. This unique nine-digit number allows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify companies for tax reporting.

When Do I Need To Use My Number:

  • Apply for small business loans or credit 
  • Open a bank account for your business 
  • Hire staffing
  • File Business Quarterly and Yearly Taxes 

Does EIN cost my business money?

No, it is free, and the quickest way to get yours on the IRS website. The IRS requires other information such as; business formation date and legal business name. You will need to register your business and get approval for the business’s name from your state before getting a number. If you have not registered your business in your state, do that before this step.

When Does The IRS Require My Number:

If the following items are accurate, then the IRS and your state government require your business to have this documentation. 

  • Your business has employees
  • Your business is a partnership or corporation
  • Your business files excise taxes
  • Your business withholds taxes for nonwage income paid to a nonresident alien

Acquiring Your EIN Number

You will go directly to IRS and follow the guidelines listed there. After you apply, make sure you print three copies and create a PDF to keep in a file. Once again, you will need this information, so make sure it’s readily accessible to you.

How to Do an EIN Lookup

There are two ways to look up a companies EIN for business purposes. You can either call the IRS, or you can go to their website. 

The phone number for the Business & Specialty Tax Line is 800-829-4933. If the company is publicly traded, use the SEC EDGAR tool to look it up for free.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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